Our Terms & Conditions
Once your paperwork has been received the case will be allocated to a Claims Handler/Solicitor who will progress the claim on your behalf. They will keep you fully up-to-date with all developments with your case. You can contact Gildeas on telephone number 0141 331 6071 quoting the reference detailed above. Alternatively, you can email Gildeas at [email protected].
2. SERVICE LEVELS
The person dealing with your claim will answer your telephone calls whenever possible, but if that person is unavailable, a message will be taken. All requests for returned calls should be dealt with on the same day or as agreed or as soon as possible thereafter. If a message is left a written response may be given. Please note all our calls are recorded and may be used for auditing, monitoring and training purposes.
3. FUNDING OF YOUR CASE AND FEES
Several methods of funding may be available to you, including (i) No win, no fee, (ii) Private fee-paying client, (iii) Trade Union/other (iv) Legal Aid (Gildeas do not currently accept instructions to act on legal aid terms), (v) Legal Expenses Insurance. Please contact us if you wish to discuss methods of funding. If you wish us to act on no win, no fee terms, we will assess your claim initially before agreeing to act. If your claim requires to go to court, it may be necessary to review your case again to assess the risks involved. We may ask you to sign new terms at that point and/or may recommend seeking an insurance policy to protect you against the risks of litigating. Raising a court action has the potential for you being liable for the other side’s costs if you are not successful or fail to beat a formal offer made by the other side. If your case is funded by a Legal Expenses Insurer (LEI) it will be on the basis that you act reasonably and adhere to the terms and conditions of the policy. The terms of your policy usually provide that if you act reasonably and follow our guidance, the costs we incur in pursuing your claim will be recovered either from the defender or your own LEI may have to meet any shortfalls in fees or outlays. If you do not have the benefit of LEI you may still be liable for our fees if you do not accept our advice. Our fees will become payable from the time that our advice is not accepted. Our hourly rate is given below. You agree that any award of expenses made in your favour and any award made in terms of Rule 27A.7(2)(b) or rule 27A.8(3) of the Sheriff Court Ordinary Cause Rules or Rule 34A.7(2)(b) or Rule 34A.8(3) of the Rules of the Court of Session will be paid to Gildeas and taken toward payment of our fees. You also authorise us to encash any cheques in your name to allow fees and outlays to be paid on your behalf. This agreement and any Funding option will remain in place wherever we can say to you or your LEI there are reasonable prospects of success in your case. For all claims to which the Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol (as referred to in Chapter 3A of the Sheriff Court Ordinary Cause Rules and Chapter 4A of the Summary Cause Rules) applies, and which settle (upon your instructions): (i) our fees and outlays plus VAT will be recovered from the defender; and (ii) a success premium will be payable by you where you have no Legal Expenses Insurance policy. If you terminate the agreement or do not accept our advice and our costs are not recovered you shall become personally liable to pay our fees including fees for work carried out by a solicitor advocate employed by us (we charge £335 plus VAT for work carried out by a solicitor advocate and £220 per hour plus VAT for all other work) and our outlays. Further, as this instruction requires to be acted upon immediately, I waive my rights under the Consumer Contract (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 to cancel this agreement within 14 days and instruct you to start work immediately.
Fees will be calculated as set out in the following Schedule of Charging:-
TIME – Time spent in meetings, Court appearances, travel, perusal of documentation etc. will be charged in Units of 6 minutes (10 Units per hour). Units of time are indivisible unless otherwise stated.
CORRESPONDENCE – Letters and Emails will be charged at 1.25 Units per page of 125 words or part thereof. No charge will be made for consideration of incoming mail.
TELEPHONE CALLS – For the first 6 minutes or part thereof the charge will be 1 Unit. Calls of over 6 minutes will be charged on a time basis.
DRAWING – All Deeds and Court Papers are chargeable at 5 Units per sheet of 250 words or part thereof.
4. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES
We hope you will be satisfied with our service, however if you have a complaint regarding the handling of your case, please try to resolve this in the first instance with the person dealing with your case. If matters are unresolved, please contact Mr Sanjeev Bali our Client Relations Partner who will try to resolve the difficulty. If you feel the matter has not been addressed in an appropriate manner any complaints should be thereafter submitted to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10-14 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. Please note the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission operate a strict time limit for the consideration of complaints. Any complaint must be made within three years of the service ending or the conduct occurring.
5. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
It is vital that we can contact you at all appropriate times until your case is concluded, and that you provide prompt instructions to us when asked. Please inform us in writing of any change of address, email or telephone number, as failure to do so could delay and prejudice your claim. Also, once you have told us something, should changes occur, please inform us in writing. You can do this by post or email. Please tell us at once of any other Court Proceedings you are aware of and forward copies of any documents you may receive straight away. Once we are instructed, you should not contact the other side or their insurers, as it could severely prejudice your case. Please notify us of any attempts by them to contact you directly.
6. OUR DUTIES TO YOU
We have a duty to progress your case expeditiously, taking instructions from you, and advising you as to the progress of your case. We have a duty of confidentiality to you. Please note that our duty of confidentiality may not apply in circumstances where we have a reason to believe a fraud is being committed. In such circumstances we have a legal duty to report such frauds. We have a duty to provide professional and accurate legal guidance and advice to you to maximise the prospects of you recovering losses which you have incurred. Lastly, if you feel we can improve our service please contact us – we are more than happy to receive constructive comment in order to improve the quality of service provided.
We shall communicate with you and with any relevant third parties and to take instructions from you by telephone, post, fax, email and any other form of electronic and/or internet communication. We may require you to confirm oral instructions in writing or by email. The information contained within the terms and conditions of engagement letter contains information that the firm is required to provide its clients with under the Solicitors (Scotland) (Client Communication) Practice Rules 2005 and subsequent correspondence should be read in conjunction with this term of engagement letter. Please note all calls to and from Gildeas’ offices are recorded for the purpose of quality control.
8. CONFIDENTIALITY AND LEGAL PRIVILEGE
Subject as provided in these terms and conditions, we will not disclose to any person any confidential information relating to you or to any matter handled on your behalf, except: –
- In the proper conduct of that matter; or
- If such information is in the public domain otherwise than by reason of improper disclosure by us; or
- Where we are required to do so by law or the rules of any applicable professional body or regulatory authority; or
Where we are ordered to do so by order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or source
9. PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT, MONEY LAUNDERING AND OTHER REPORTING
The firm has reporting obligations under and in terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, the Terrorism Act 2000 and related Statutory Instruments which, in certain circumstances, require disclosure or confidential information to the authorities. In such circumstances we may be prohibited from notifying our clients of such a report and we may cease to continue to do any work on the client matter until such time as we receive formation authorisation from the authorities to do so. We shall incur no liability to you for any loss, damage, penalties, interest, costs or charges which you may suffer or incur if we are so prohibited from acting or delayed in continuing to act on your behalf.
- We have to check and be satisfied as to the source and destination of any funds passing through our hands. To comply with this:
- We are unable to accept payments in cash of more than £500
- Any cheque/CHAPS/BACS payment you make to us must be from a UK bank account in your own name and we may require you to instruct your Bank to disclose confirmation of the source of funds where that information is not routinely provided.
- We will only remit funds due to you by cheque payable to you and to no other third party or by CHAPS/BACS to a UK bank account in your own name and to no other account
- We shall keep any and all records relating to our obligations under the Money Laundering Regulations for as long as the file is held for business purposes or as long as our regulatory body requires.
10. THIRD PARTIES
If we engage others on your behalf (such as counsel, overseas lawyers and expert witnesses), whether in the UK or abroad, we will do so as your agent and shall not be responsible for any act or omission of those other persons. Where you are using third parties to provide information, advice or other assistance in support of the services we are providing to you, you will be responsible for the management of such persons and their performance, including the timelines and quality of their input and work.
11. REGULATION OF THE FIRM
The Firm is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. If you would like to contact the Law Society of Scotland regarding work undertaken on your behalf by the Firm, the Senior Partner or the Managing Partner would be happy to advise you of the role and contact details Law Society of Scotland in relation to your query.
Complaints should in the first instance be addressed to our Client Relations Partner, Sanjeev Bali. If you feel the matter has not been addressed in an appropriate manner any complaint should thereafter be submitted to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, The Stamp Office, 10 – 14 Waterloo Place, EDINBURGH, EH1 3EG.
Please note there is a 3-year time limit for the submission of any complaints to the SLCC after the conduct complained of or the service ending.
12. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
We recognise that Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations have implemented ADR/EDR Directive 2013/11/EU to promote alternative dispute resolution as a means of redress for consumers in relation to unsatisfactory services. We have however chosen not to adopt an ADR process and if you have any concerns about the services you receive from this firm you should contact the firm’s Client Relations Manager.
13. USE OF PERSONAL DATA
We use your personal data for the purpose of processing your claim. We will use your contact information to keep you updated about the progress of the claim and to communicate any matters relating to your case as part of this engagement. Your personal data will always be processed as per the privacy notice for customers which is available on our website. You can contact the firm’s Client Relations Manager or the Data Protection Compliance Manager to obtain a copy of the privacy notice or to find out about our personal data protection practices.
14. INFORMATION TO BE DISCLOSED BY US BEFORE YOU ENTER INTO A LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE CONTRACT
We are obliged to disclose the following information before the conclusion of a contract of insurance with you:
- The practice unit of GILDEAS has Professional Indemnity Insurance under the Law Society of Scotland of Scotland’s Master Policy. The current level of indemnity on the Master Policy is £2m per claim. The practice unit of Gildeas is also covered by the Scottish Solicitor’s Guarantee Fund which is a fund established by Section 43 of the Solicitors (Scotland) Act 1980 for the purpose of making grants in order to compensate persons who, in the opinion of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland suffer pecuniary loss by reason of dishonesty on the part of a Scottish solicitor in connection with the practice of the solicitor.
- We are authorised by the Law Society of Scotland to conduct incidental financial business, including insurance mediation activity. We are exempt of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Services Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at https://register.fca.org.uk/ or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768
- We have no holding, direct or indirect in any legal expense company.
- No legal expense company has any holding, direct or indirect, in our firm.